“They Don’t Think Like Us”: Exploring Attitudes of Non-Transgender Students Toward Transgender People Using Discourse Analysis

Christopher Day, Kate Nicholls

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    515 Downloads (Pure)


    Literature concerned with attitudes toward transgender (TG)
    individuals has been found to be lacking. Predominant research is quantitative and the few qualitative studies either investigated TG experience or attitudes of those with personal experience of TG people.
    This study investigated this topic using a qualitative approach
    employing semi-structured interviews exploring beliefs, understanding, and experience of TG people. Foucauldian Discourse
    Analysis was used to analyze the language used to construct
    a “transgender” discourse. Participants were cisgender, heterosexual, female participants from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds (n = 6).
    Prevalent discourses were; “Heteronormativity as a Benchmark,”
    “The Ease of Disclosure’“ and “Actualising the Other.” Participants
    consistently drew on discourse that constructed TG as “other.”
    Findings indicate a need to attend to context, as well as content,
    when exploring attitudes and that covert forms of prejudice need
    to be addressed and could inform anti-prejudice interventions and the creation of future transphobia measurements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)914-933
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Homosexuality
    Issue number6
    Early online date25 Oct 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Homosexuality on 25/10/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00918369.2019.1667161

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


    • LGBT+
    • Othering
    • attitudes
    • heteronormativity
    • prejudice
    • transgender
    • transphobia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Social Psychology
    • Education
    • Psychology(all)


    • Equality and Inclusion


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